Five-state study finds high levels of airborne chemicals near oil and gas sites

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

A study of air emissions near oil and gas wells found strikingly high levels of benzene and other dangerous chemicals in some locations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "energy":

"… stry groups have pointed to the boom as an economic godsend: jobs, cheaper energy, payments to landowners and taxes for state coffers. Many public officials …"

"… ntative at the hearing, in written testimony to the House subcommittees on energy and the environment. “Yet this fact is lost in the public reaction to EP …"

"… ed the investigation over to the state. That work is funded by Encana, the energy company residents accused of contaminating the water. A spokesman for Enc …"

Bill aims to stop coal companies from denying benefits to miners with black lung

By Chris Hamby

Two coal-state senators plan to introduce legislation to reform the federal benefits program for black lung victims.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chris Hamby":

"… rent backlog of cases pending before administrative law judges. Chris Hamby, a former reporter with the Center for Public Integrity, now works for Buz …"

Ten major findings from our investigations so far this year

By Jared Bennett and Sarah Whitmire

Investigations from the first half of 2014

Excerpts from this story referencing "Charles Lewis":

"… y year before. This year also marks the 25th Anniversary since our founder Charles Lewis started the Center from his guest bedroom.  But we still have a lot …"

Critic of artificial sweeteners pilloried by industry-backed scientists

By Chris Young

Any criticism of the artificial sweetener industry is met with a barrage of criticism, often from questionable sources.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Department of Agriculture":

"… into Google, and the top search result is a webpage run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The page about sweeteners includes two links to Council-run webpages, inc …"

Black lung claims by 1,100 coal miners may have been wrongly denied

By Chris Hamby

Black lung opinions by Dr. Paul Wheeler of Johns Hopkins should be assumed to lack credibility, senators are told at a hearing.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… earing were both prompted by a series of stories released last year by The Center for Public Integrity in partnership with ABC News.   Miners who get black lung, a debili …"

"… k to you all to help us."   Chris Hamby, a former reporter with the Center for Public Integrity, now works for BuzzFeed. …"

Even low doses of arsenic trigger cancer in mice, study finds

By David Heath

Study by the National Institutes of Health found levels of arsenic similar to what some people consume caused cancer in mice.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… rs in history. Extrapolating from those studies, scientists with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have tentatively concluded that arsenic is a serious p …"

"… pears to be safe,” Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program, said in a statement …"

How politics derailed EPA science on arsenic, endangering public health

By David Heath

A ban on arsenic-containing pesticides was lifted after a lawmaker disrupted a scientific assessment by the EPA.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New England":

"… …"

What to do if your drinking water contains arsenic

By David Heath

Millions of Americans unwittingly consume arsenic, a potent carcinogen also linked to IQ deficits in children, in their drinking water.

Foul air in heavily fracked Texas county has couple looking for a way out

By Lisa Song

After 23 years in once-placid Karnes County, Texas, Lynn and Shelby Buehring say they're moving to escape toxic fumes from a fracking boom.

Energy Dept. confirms it's been on the wrong path since 2007

By Douglas Birch

A newly-released DOE study concludes the department can save billions by shelving a costly South Carolina nuclear fuel factory.

Excerpts from this story referencing "MOX fuel":

"… as filed a lawsuit seeking to force the federal government to complete the MOX fuel plant, where about 1,600 workers are currently employed. South Carolina’ …"

Deadly Texas fertilizer plant explosion blamed on regulatory failures

A 2013 blast at West Fertilizer that killed 14 "never should have occurred," Chemical Safety Board chairman says.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chemical Safety Board":

"… lant explosion in West, Texas, which killed 14 people and injured 226, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board reported Tuesday. Issuing the board’s preliminary findings on the April …"

Herbicide ban on hold in Sri Lanka, as source of deadly kidney disease remains elusive

By Sasha Chavkin

After Sri Lanka's announced ban on a Monsanto herbicide, opponents challenged the action and convinced the president to put the ban on hold.

Tough new fracking rules in Colorado drawing keen attention in Texas, where boom rages on

By Zahra Hirji, Lisa Song and Jim Morris

Air pollution rules adopted last month in Colorado may have an impact on oil and gas drilling in Texas.

Sri Lanka bans Monsanto herbicide citing potential link to deadly kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

Sri Lanka orders ban on glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup, citing kidney disease outbreak; Monsanto said the evidence is unproven.

Nuclear Waste: Energy Department proposes to kill multi-billion dollar nuclear fuel plant

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

The costliest U.S. nonproliferation program has been undone by huge cost overruns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "MOX fuel":

"… ffect that decision. The department’s review “has determined that the MOX fuel approach is significantly more expensive than planned and it is not viable …"

Nuclear Waste: Auditors find continuing mismanagement at nuclear fuel plant

By Douglas Birch

The GAO complains anew about DOE's unwillingness to investigate cost increases at the MOX plant, and learn from its mistakes there

Excerpts from this story referencing "MOX fuel":

"… SA officials decided last April to slow construction of the Mixed Oxide or MOX fuel plant, which is located at DOE’s Savannah River Site, pending a review o …"

Nuclear Waste: Cost of South Carolina fuel plant goes up by billions of dollars — again

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Douglas Birch

The MOX plant may cost another $30 billion to complete and operate, and federal officials are newly wary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "MOX fuel":

"… hat the Energy Department would have to pay the operators a fee to use the MOX fuel, officials said. Due to cost overruns and funding shortages, the White Ho …"

EPA abandons major radiation cleanup in Florida, despite cancer concerns

By Douglas P. Guarino

Federal agency abandons phosphate-mining clean-up, leaving more than 100,000 residents at risk of exposure to cancer-causing radiation.

Top environment investigations from 2013

By The Center for Public Integrity

In case you missed it, here are some of our favorite environment and workers' rights investigations from 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Johns Hopkins University":

"… e has helped industry defeat black lung benefits claims for ailing miners: Johns Hopkins University. Keep reading The cancer factory A decades-long spate of bladder cance …"

High bladder cancer rate shrouds New York plant, exposing chemical hazards in the workplace

By Jim Morris

A decades-long spate of bladder cancer at a Goodyear plant in Niagara Falls, N.Y. spotlights limits of regulation over dangerous chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Air Force":

"… gara Falls facility.” Recipe for cancer After nearly three years in the Air Force, Harry Weist started in Department 145 — vinyl — at Goodyear in Decemb …"

Days after investigation, coal miners' safety net scrutinized

By Bill Buzenberg

Center's 'Breathless and Burdened' series leads U.S. senators to call for changes, major hospital to halt program and review practices.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Richard Trumka":

"… senators craft legislation to reform the black lung benefits system. And Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, wrote in a column on Monday that the Center’s …"

Behind the story: 'Breathless and Burdened'

By Chris Hamby

Reporter Chris Hamby details his yearlong look at miners suffering from black lung disease, and their struggle for benefits.

'Breathless and Burdened' will examine coal industry's efforts to defeat black lung benefits claims

By Chris Hamby

Our yearlong investigative project examining how coal companies defeat sick miners' black lung benefits claims begins tomorrow.

EPA proposes crackdown on emissions from new gas, coal-fired power plants

By Kristen Lombardi

The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coal":

"… any new Coal plants because of this rule,” Paul Bailey, of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, the Coal industry’s most public voice, …"

"… because of this rule,” Paul Bailey, of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, the Coal industry’s most public voice, said Friday. “We t …"

Countries target pesticides as suspected link to rare kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

Governments from El Salvador to Sri Lanka explore the role of pesticides in a malady killing laborers, as other scientists eye heat stress.

Russian site eyed for Syrian chemical weapons destruction

By R. Jeffrey Smith

There’s a reason why Western officials are being nice to Moscow now — they want Russia to destroy Syria’s deadly arsenal on its own soil.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United Nations":

"… large, organized, rocket attack, not a juryrigged operation. Thus did the United Nations-organized probe undermine several hypotheses advanced by officials in Mosc …"

Study delivers good, bad news on climate-impacting methane leakage from gas wells

By Lisa Song and Jim Morris

A study released today examines greenhouse-effect-causing methane emissions from natural gas drilling sites.

OSHA rule targets worker exposure to silica

By Jim Morris

Citing concerns over the deadly lung disease silicosis and lung cancer, OSHA on Friday proposed a rule to control worker exposure to silica.

'Nuclear Waste' series targets seriously troubled project

By Bill Buzenberg

Center’s series kicks off an ongoing investigation into the world’s faltering efforts to control these most dangerous nuclear explosives.

Nuclear Waste: Extremism in defense of federally-paid jobs is no vice in South Carolina

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

PART THREE IN A SERIES: Lawmakers shed their fiscal conservatism to keep a troubled nuclear plant alive at Washington’s expense.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… on, a Republican from west of Columbus, Ohio, that the Almanac of American Politics once described as “a practical-minded politician” with a steady demean …"

"… nter for Public Integrity of donations listed by the Center for Responsive Politics revealed. Chicago Bridge and Shaw Group’s employees and committees have& …"

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